Cradle Robbers

film no. 28


Our Gang Volume #5 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is from an original print with a Thunderbird Films copyright superimposed over the crew credits. A second superimposed credit indicates that the soundtrack is scored on a Baldwin organ. Many of the inter-titles are intact, but there is a long stretch early on when it appears that they have been removed. The picture quality is fairly poor. The total time is 16:23. Presumably, almost all of the original film is included. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 9 (VHS) from Video Classics
This copy is the same as Grapevine's.

Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 3 (VHS) from HenryButch
This copy is the same as Grapevine's.

special note
I've also been able to view a home movie fragment containing much of the beginning portion of this film.

technical details:

Production A-28.

Filmed January 28 to February 9, 1924. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted May 12, 1924 by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU20189. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released June 1, 1924. It was the 26th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Cradle Robbers".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1028, "The Baby Show," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17333.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.

Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.

Photographed by Frank Young and Blake Wagner
Maltin & Bann don't provide photography credit for this film. The film itself credits Young, while the Wagner credit comes from Joseph McBride's Frank Capra - The Catastrophe Of Success. It's likely that Young would not have been present during the first week of filming, since it would have conflicted with his involvement in the Stan Laurel series. Therefore, Wagner was likely to have been the initial photographer, and replaced midway through filming by Young. No photographer, incidentally, is listed in the payroll summaries for this period.

Edited by T. J. Crizer
Credited in the film but not by Maltin & Bann. The 'T' stands for Thomas.

Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.

Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film. Frank Capra contributed gags to this film.

Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.

Teacher: Fern Carter
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the National Board of Review
Indicated in the film.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement

the kids:

featured players
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Lead role. He's basically the star of this short, being the one dressed as a baby, and being chased by the cop.

Mickey Daniels
Featured role. He gets plenty of screen time, and is essentially the leader of the gang in this short.

Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in this print. He contributes his usual bits of comedy relief.

Mary Kornman
Supporting role. She appears at the adult's baby show, then has the idea for the gang's version.

Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in this print. Though still a main player, he had long taken a back seat to Mickey, Joe and Farina. This was his final appearance in the series.

Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He's paired with Dick in this short, but is given mostly ensemble work.

Supporting role. He's paired with Jackie in this short and appears basically in the same shots. I suspect that this is Dick Henchen, who is listed in the payroll summaries, but not until "Jubilo, Jr." (no. 29), suggesting that he was previously a day worker.

George "Sonny Boy" Warde
Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Sonny Loy Warde (he was later known as Sonny Loy). He appears pretty much throughout the film.

other kids
Peggy Ahern
Bit part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. Mary and Mickey appraise her baby.

Lassie Lou Ahern
Bit part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She's the smallest girl in the attic scene.

boy 028
Bit part. Ernie talks to him as he's weighing the black baby.

other kids
Bit parts.
(1.) Two boys helping Ernie weigh the black baby.
(2.) Three girls in the animal section.

the babies
Jannie Hoskins
Small part. I'm pretty sure she's the smaller of the two black babies.

other babies
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The other black baby shown with Jannie.
(2.) The baby playing Mary's little sister.
(3.) The three babies playing Mickey's, Jackie's and Dick's younger siblings.
(4.) The Asian baby played Sonny Boy's younger sibling.
(5.) The baby referred to as "Cornelius," which the gang switches with Joe.
(6.) The baby being examined at the adult show.
(7.) The baby being examined by Mickey at the kid's show.
(8.) The three gypsy babies.
(9.) Various other babies in the background of different scenes.

questionable listings
In the 1977 edition of their book, Maltin & Bann list Nanette Fabray, but put a question mark after her name. In the 1992 edition, they don't bother listing her, and I can see why, since none of the girls look like her.

the animals:

Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He's Joe's dog, and gets a good moment with the fishing pole, pulling the toupee off of the bald man.

other animals
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) A white horse pulling the gypsy's wagon. Perhaps "Duke" from "The Ol' Gray Hoss" (no. 78).
(2.) The horse pulling the second wagon.
(3.) A second horse behind the white horse. Could be the horse From "Fast Company" (no. 16).
(4.) Three baby goats in the kids' show.
(5.) Two puppies in the kids' show.
(6.) Numerous ducklings, and possibly chicks, at the kids' show.
(7.) Several chickens stolen by the gypsy.

the adults:

William Gillespie as the gypsy, and as the officer chasing Joe
Supporting role. Both of his parts are fairly notable, particularly as the gypsy.

Allen Cavan as one of the officers, and as one of the baby show officials
Small part. This print doesn't make it possible to verify his presence at the baby show, but he is the cop that the mothers gather around.

Helen Gilmore as Jackie's mom
Small part. She's first seen whisking Jackie and the baby away from the gypsy, then is convinced later on that the gypsy is responsible for the missing babies.

Clara Guiol as one of the baby show officials
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. I'm presuming they mean the woman that awards a prize to Mary's little sister, but I'm not quite convinced.

Beth Darlington as the girl with the bald boyfriend
Bit part. She just might possibly be one of the nurses, too.

Earl Mohan as the traffic cop
Bit part. This is just a guess, since the print is so poor, but he resembles him when he smiles.

Dorothy Vernon as one of the mothers
Bit part. She's in the crowd of mothers at the end.

Lyle Tayo as one of the mothers
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. One of the pair of women that Joe goo-goos at resembles her a bit, but she's probably among the women in the big chase at the end.

other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The bald boyfriend, briefly seen loosing his toupee.
(2.) Another cop that joins Gillespie in his chase.
(3.) Three gypsy women shown in the back of the wagon.
(4.) A guy getting mud in his face.
(5.) A doctor and three nurses, one of whom may be Beth Darlington.
(6.) The two women who initially visit Joe, one of whom kisses him.
(7.) Two ugly women who want to kiss Joe, but don't get anywhere with him.
(8.) The mother of Cornelius, the baby the gang switches with Joe.
(9.) Several other adults at the baby show.
(10.) Several additional mothers in the ending chase.


12 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two days after the final retake date for "Commencement Day" (no. 26), the 'start' date for "Cradle Robbers" arrived on Jan. 28th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Feb. 9th. No shooting took place on Feb. 3rd, which was a Sunday. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began shooting "Jubilo, Jr." (no. 29).

There were 50 copies of this film printed for its initial release.

The adult version of the show is called the '5th Annual Baby Show,' held from May 10th through 15th.

©Jan. 30, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 2/21, 2/27, 3/16, 4/25, 5/14, 12/15.
2006 updates: 1/9, 5/16, 6/12, 10/25.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/17, 10/22, 11/5, 11/25.
2008 updates: 1/19, 2/21, 3/18, 3/31, 7/6.
2009 updates: 6/7, 6/13, 6/18, 6/19, 6/25, 7/19, 7/23.

Thanks to Rob Stone, Joe Moore and James A. Gipson for assistance on this page.

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